Portugal //

Food from afar


Portugal’s former status as an important trading nation has had a huge influence on world cuisine. The tempura method of deep-frying was introduced to the Japanese by sixteenth-century Portuguese traders and missionaries, while the fiery curry-house mainstay vindaloo derives from a vinho (wine) and alho (garlic) sauce popular in Portuguese Goa. Indeed, the use of chillis in the East only began when the Portuguese started to import them from Mexico. Bacalhau (dried salt cod) started life as a way of preserving fish on board the Portuguese voyages of exploration; another, less exotic, export is marmalade (although the local marmelada is actually made from quince). Meanwhile, dishes from Portugal’s former colonies crop up time and time again in Portuguese restaurants. Keep an eye out for mufete (beans with palm oil and fish) and chicken piri-piri (chicken with chilli sauce), which originated in Angola and Mozambique, caril de camarão (shrimp curry) and chamuças (samosas) from Asia, and Brazilian meals such as feijoada (pork and bean stew), picanha (sliced rump steak) and rodizio (barbecue meat buffet).

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